United CRJ diverts to Palm Springs due to possible low visibility.
United Airlines from San Francisco to Palm Springs was diverted to Palm Springs yesterday after a threat of poor visibility was discovered in the Bay Area. The service began in Tucson, Arizona and was operated under the United Express brand by SkyWest Airlines' Bombardier CRJ200ER. Such turmoil is not uncommon in San Francisco, known for its fog.
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United Airlines flight UA4682 is a scheduled flight departing from Tucson International Airport (TUS) in Arizona. It is operated by United Airlines' regional brand and is scheduled to depart at 8 am. The destination is San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in California, which will land at 9:31 am local time.
This gives you just over two and a half hours, taking into account the time difference. United serves several destinations from Tucson, both on the mainline and under the Express brand, but San Francisco is entirely in the latter domain. United Express is the only brand that can directly connect two cities on flights operated by SkyWest Airlines.
data from RadarBox.com show that yesterday's repeat flight UA4682 was operated by the Bombardier CRJ200ER registered as N967SW. According to chaviation.com, the 50-seat regional jet was 18 years old and was delivered to SkyWest Airlines in November 2003. I took off from Tucson as scheduled, although it was a little late yesterday morning at 8:22 am.
However, on the way to San Francisco, the flight had to detour to Palm Springs International Airport (PSP), also in California. The reason for this was initially unknown, but later it became clear on social media that it could be due to poor visibility at the planned destination. After circling outside Palm Springs for a while, I landed at 9:20 am local time.
Flight resumed after more than two hours on the ground. I left the PSP at 11:31 am and landed in San Francisco at 12:42 pm, just over an hour later. Overall, this corresponded to a total delay of 3 hours and 11 minutes. Simple Flying has contacted United Airlines for more information on the detour.
It seems that UA4682 wasn't the only United service that was interfered with yesterday. In fact, major flights from San Diego were also delayed in the Bay Area, and United confirmed on Twitter that fog was the cause of the delay. Flight UA676 operated by Boeing 737900ER landed a little over an hour later at 13:13 (12:04).
San Francisco's general weather conditions mean that fog is a common phenomenon in the Bay Area. This could be the cause of SFO's unfortunate title of being California's most lagging airport. SFGate adds that 19% of flights have been delayed or canceled and are ranked 10th overall in the United States (20192021). Regarding yesterday's poor visibility, CBS reports that a heavy fog warning was issued in parts of the Bay Area until 11:00 am.
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